Thursday, July 20, 2017

Maybe the Numbers are Improving...Maybe Not

Okay pals and gals, the numbers are in for June from our friends at the FH are happily reporting the news of an uptick in Swiss watch exports.  

Courtesy of the FH

I apologize if the image is a bit fuzzy, but that is appropriate because the correlation between increased exports and actual watch sales is equally hard to pull into focus.

If we were to believe that numbers don't lie, then apparently every jeweler in Italy and the UK must be selling boatloads of watches with truly Herculean increases of exported watches arriving in these two locations.  The numbers for the US are, at least, more believable with a further poor month resulting in a decrease of 1.3%, and Japan with an additional decline of 15.4%.  And if the numbers are to be believed, then we can all breath a sigh of relief!

But the problem with fuzzy numbers is they tend to be fuzzy for a reason.  And I will repeat what I said here about a month ago - increased export numbers do not necessarily indicate increased sales numbers.  While I will not claim to be in touch with every retailer in every country, I can say that the reports back do not reflect the very large volumes of Swiss watches that are being exported to the UK and Italy.

Which means, once again, our old friend the Grey Market, the Light Grey Market, and good old fashioned trans-shipping might better explain a part of it.  The other part is the need to get as many watches out of the country before the new "Swissness" becomes reality - and that means only about 6 months left.

So no sports fans, I do not think we are out of the woods quite yet.

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